Merrion battled to victory over Knockharley in a low scoring thriller in the IBI Corporate Finance Tillain Cup final at Sydney Parade on Saturday.
An unbroken 30-run partnership between Vicky Delwani 21* and Peter Forkin 19* took Merrion to a four-wicket victory with just five balls to spare.
After losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, Merrion spun a web their opponents from Meath couldn’t extricate themselves from in the first innings.
It started with Hugh Kennedy (1-16) trapping Joe Ingamells LBW in the first over but from there the spinners took over for Merrion.
Beant Bhathal (2-16) and Niranjan Shankar (2-19) bowled six overs in tandem after the powerplay as Knockharley tumbled from 35/2 to 42/5.
Daniel Forkin (2-2) relished his appearance in the Cup final took two for two in his two overs including a stunning return catch low to his left to remove Tahir Rasheed.
Earlier, brother Peter (1-15) had a similar return catch of his own as all the Merrion bowlers took wickets throughout the Knockharley innings.
Harry Shivmangal (21) and Mark Ingamells (20) top-scored as the Meath men made 95/9 off their allocation.
No one knows a good score until both sides have batted is an age-old cliché and it’s true for a reason.
Jack Condie (2-17) and Ross Shivmangal (2-23) helped reduce Merrion to 48/5 after 13 overs and the match was right in the melting pot.
The mainstay of the Merrion innings was Player of the Match Beant Bhathal (30) who was anchoring the card. When Shivmangal bowled him to reduce Merrion to 67/6 in the 16th over, the loud cheers from the Knockharley side showed that momentum was probably on their side.
That didn’t account for Delwani and Forkin however as they made 30 in 20 deliveries to deliver the Tillain Cup to Anglesea Road.
A fantastic match and a fantastic beginning to Cup Finals Weekend in Leinster.
You can see the Match Gallery here: https://www.cricketleinster.ie/gallery/ibi-corporate-finance-tillain-cup-final
IBI Corporate Finance Tillain Cup 20-over
Knockharley 1 v Merrion 2, Sydney Parade, Saturday September 12th
Knockharley 95/9 20 Overs (H Shivmangal 21, M Ingamells 20; D Forkin 2-0-2-2, B Bhathal 4-0-16-2, N Shankar 4-1-19-2)
Merrion 97/6 19.1 Overs (B Bhathal 30, V Delwani 21*, P Forkin 19*; J Condie 2-17, R Shivmangal 2-23)
Merrion won by 4 wickets